A motorist who apparently wasn't paying attention to the road slammed into the back of a Salt Lake County sheriff's patrol car Thursday night, even though his overhead lights were on and orange cones were set up next to his car.
The accident happened just after 7 p.m. on 4500 South near 845 East. A deputy was doing traffic control for another incident and was sitting in his car with his overhead red and blue lights flashing, and he had set up orange cones leading up to his patrol car, said sheriff's deputy Levi Hughes.
"He observes a vehicle traveling right behind him and is not seeing her yielding, slowing or changing lanes," he said.
When the vehicle drove over the orange cones, the deputy tried to move his car forward to get out of the way. But he wasn't able to move in time and the woman clipped his rear bumper, causing about $100 damage, Hughes said.
"She stated she was blinded by the sunset and did not see the deputy or the cones she ran over," he said. "If you can't see a patrol car with its lights on and cones in the middle of the road, you're not paying attention to what's in the road. If you think the sun is blinding you so badly you can't see, you should probably pull over."
Neither the deputy nor the woman was seriously hurt. Hughes said the deputy was able to avoid much of the impact my having his car in motion when he was hit.
More police officers are killed in traffic-related accidents each year than in shootings or stabbings, Hughes said.